Sunday, January 22, 2017
Presidential Inauguration 2017
I do not like crowds -- the thought of packing into an area with a million people just sounds awful. Despite the anxiety, the night before the Inauguration, Tucker and I decided to go. It was less about supporting the new president than it was about being at such a huge and historic event. Living so close made it simple and inexpensive.
After reminding Angela about the life insurance policy in the event that things go horribly wrong, Tucker and I headed to the train station bright and early. On the train ride, people spontaneously started singing patriotic songs. What a great way to start out the day!
The center of DC was completely blocked off by the military and police. Every street had trucks or military vehicles blocking access with military staff standing by. As you walked by, they were so friendly and welcoming. Each military person greeted us with the warmest, sincerest smiles and the kindest words. We thanked them for their service and made our way towards the Inauguration.
Fences surrounded all of the secured areas. TSA, military, and the police worked at each of the security checkpoints. They did quick, but thorough checks before allowing you to enter. Despite being crowded and busy, they were friendly. Why can't TSA at the airport be that friendly?
Obviously, we arrived far earlier than necessary. Not having a clue how busy it was going to be, we erred on the cautious side. Thank you Super Mario Brothers for entertaining Tucker while we waited several hours for the event to start. Arriving this early, there were not a lot of people were there, but as you can see in the pictures, there were military stationed everywhere. With all of the threats associated with such an event, you know they must have been stressed and cautious, yet they seemed like they were the nicest, most helpful people.
C-Span was passing out free Trump pins.
It was a little odd and disconcerting to see the Secret Service and / or Military on the tops of the buildings surrounding the event. Queue the thoughts of a sniper in a Jason Bourne movie.
The Capitol looked great with the recently refinished dome and the variety of flags hanging above the event.
The people continued to flow in, eventually filling the National Mall.
Tucker and I appreciated the Bible verses that were shared and the recognition of God's role in our country's history and the prayers for God's guidance and blessings in our future.
Taking the Oath of Office:
Leaving was not easy! You had to exit through the security checkpoints that were designed to restrict flow. The protestors were trying to enter as we were trying to leave. Eventually we passed the barriers to find thousands of people surrounded the subway stations. We decided to walk a few train stations away and were able to board fairly easily.
In the end, we walked several miles and stood for hours, but it was worth it.
Tucker's summary: "We waited a long time, but I thought it was really cool!"